Elections in India, mixed – so far

By May 6, 2004

India (MNN) — Four days of voting and one day left. Parliamentary elections in India will come to an end, following the final day of voting on May 10. If the current government receives even more of a majority, it could have negative results on evangelism there.

Vice President of Mission India of Grand Rapids, Michigan just returned from India. He details what's taken place. "The first two days of voting, the exit polls were revealing that the current government in power was not doing as well as they had projected. Which, in terms of religious freedom in India, was actually a good sign," he says.

However, the same results were not seen in yesterday's elections. he says, "Exit polling data was swinging again the other direction toward the current government." That could add more problems for believers, he says. "If the government in power gains greater strength, then we believe the persecution against the church (will increase) and religious freedom will be further curtailed," he says .

The outcome of the election shouldn't affect Mission India's work. Although the v.p. believes there is one issue that could affect them. He says, "One of the objectives of a stronger government would be to cut off foreign funding of Christian organizations in India because, a lot of money from abroad comes in to fund much of the Christian effort that goes on in India today."

That doesn't mean that Mission India's work would end. "There are ways to do things and we have to think creatively, not traditionally when the political climate shifts against the church," he says.

He's asking believers to pray for the final day of elections on May 10th. "Over the next week, people need to pray that God would overrule and that the part that's put in place would continue to support a secular government and religious freedom in that nation."

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